• The day started off normally with a morning walk before work. We were a few blocks from home and crossing in front of another community when a chopper motorcycle came up and drove off really slowly and loudly. He was getting antsy when it came up beside us and when i looked up to see the man drive off I felt Cairo tugging on the leash. When I looked down he was fighting and biting at the leash before he fell over.

    I was super concerned but knew he was having a seizure, so i got down with him on the sidewalk and talked to him and held him so he wouldn't hurt himself. What really freaked me out was when it wouldn't stop after a minute or 2, i think it went on for at least 3 maybe more and then he didn't move for a another 2 or 3 minutes. Once he was able to get back on his feet i picked him up and carried him most of the way back home until a few yards from my house. I put him down to see how he'd do and he was wobbly but ok enough do the whole leaning pee thing, which made me feel a little better.

    The vet checked his heart which was good and fine and drew some panels, but i won't get the blood work results until tomorrow morning. For now the vet is taking the wait and see approach to medication. His panels a few weeks ago, for the teeth cleaning, were great for his age. There's also no mention of any seizures in his passed vet records.

    By the time we left, Cairo was feeling better and very inquisitive about a giant bright green bull frog in the parking lot, enough to try to sniff and paw at it.

    I'm hoping it's nothing serious or just auditory epilepsy (which isn't good but better than tumors or organ problems.) I'm thinking it might be that because ever since i got him I've been keeping note that certain noises/pitches will cause him to jerk/shudder a few times and sometimes fall-sit (where he'll loose balance and kind of fall into a sitting pose.) He recovers in a second or two and is back to normal like nothing happened.

  • I'm so sorry to hear this. My heart is with you and I pray for Cairo.

    If you do a search on this site and use 'seizure' there is lots to read. Please keep us posted.

  • Thank you so much. And thanks for the links, I've been reading up.

  • I am sorry you and Cairo had to go through something so scary 😞

    I have had epileptic dogs in the past and seizures are a scary experience. My vet back then had me start a diary for the dogs in question. I would time the duration of the seizures, make notes and observations about the whole thing and before and after, and also write down the date. It was good information for the vet when it came to deciding whether there were obvious triggers, and how often the seizures occurred. This helped a lot with deciding if meds were needed for the animal or if the seizures were light and infrequent enough to where the risk of medication was no acceptable.

    Let us know what you learn from the vet.

    Good luck to Cairo and you…

  • First Basenji's

    No advice, but it does sound scary. Please keep us posted…

  • How scary! I hope it's nothing too serious. Thinking of you both.

  • Maybe it was just a freak attack. I had a Basenji that would have seizures once in a while when she was young. The vet said sometimes when they get very excited the brain misfires (electrical impulses). When she matured and didn't get so excited they stopped.

  • Hugs for both of you. Do let us know what the vet's testing shows please.

  • Hugs to you both. I agree with Moth, keep a detailed diary of all seizure activity, small or serious, that is the most helpful thing you can do at this point to help the vet decide on diagnosis and treatment. You just did great detail in your post, noting all the preceding noises and events.

  • Houston

    oh no…sending healing hugs to both of you. I hope this was just a one time occurence, and that he will have no more attacks like that. Keep us posted.

  • While terrifying sounding, you most certainly do the right things for your dog. My heart is out to you both. I can only imagine the helplessness while waiting for it to pass.

    I had never heard of a dog with audiogenic epilepsy, so I really hope you chart each one then contact a university vet school. You might find one interested it writing about and treating your dog. Of course it also could simply be the noise factor, stress or excitement triggers the seizure, which is far more common. But charting will help you pinpoint it.

  • Thanks everyone for your well wishes! So far the morning has been uneventful, aside from Cairo flirting with a younger poodle girl lol. I'm still waiting to hear back about the results.

    From my experience (granted I'm not a trained brain person, etc.) with epileptic friends and seeing other people and animals have seizures, what I do know about anatomy/biology, and from my observations with Cairo… I'm thinking it's audiogenic. Kind of like a strobe light with people, the sustained noise/sounds from the chopper motorcycle triggered him. I could be totally wrong though and it be something involving his organs etc., but from the way he reacts to certain quick and infrequent sounds like loud clapping, potato chips bags, and a few other things... I'm thinking if sustained at the same or constant pitch/frequency could trigger him as well.

    I'll start keeping a journal and documenting the shudders/jerks, their causes, and any other seizures (which hopefully won't happen again or anytime soon.)

  • Just got the results, everything was good except the BUN which was really high 77 with the normal range of 7-27, but the creatinine was 1.5 and the normal range for that is 0.4-1.8, so it's the high side of normal. Also his ALT was high 135 with the normal range of 5-107 and B/C Ratio 51.3.

    The vet wants me to give him subq fluids for the next few days and retest in 2 weeks. He's not sure if the kidneys had anything to do with the seizure or vice versa.

    It doesn't help Cairo forgets to drink water sometimes, especially when he's been sleeping all day.

    I'm so hoping it's dehydration or caused by the seizure or his arthritis and will clear up….. and not very early stages of kidney failure. Doesn't make me feel any better that i just read the number one cause of death to older dogs is arthritis and then kidney failure. Cairo has pretty bad arthritis all over....

  • High protein diets may also contribute to high bun when the other stuff is fine.

    Arthritis… no joke. 😞 My last 2 rotties had survived cancer but had to be put down (ancient..13.5 and 12.5.. for rotties though) when no meds helped them have any quality of life.

  • How old is Cairo? The early stages of kidney troubles are fairly managable. My ****er maintained well for a long time with kidney disease. Putting him on a low protein food for dogs with kidney trouble will be neccessary if that is what it turns out to be. Make sure to get him to drink water to keep his system hydrated and kidneys flushed 🙂

    Are you giving him anything to help manage the arthritis?

  • He's about 13.5 and did have lyme disease and was treated when he was younger. Other than that and arthritis he's had for several years, he's been in good health. I'm currently treating him with a half deramax a day ( I forget the exact dosage.) At the fosters he was on a buffered aspirin a day and the original owners had him on something else for a short time.

    I have been giving him ground turkey breast once a day with his royal canin aging care.

  • Just in case you repeat the blood tests and find that you need to manage his diet here are a couple of links 🙂




    As for the arthritis is the medication managing his pain adequately? My 12 year old collie is currently on Rimadyl…so far she is doing well on it.

  • Thanks for the links. I'm not sure if the Deramax is doing the best it can, when I try giving him the whole pill he tends to get an upset stomach even taken with food, and some days are better than others. He does get playful when it's time to go out for walks and when he's in the mood and will go full steam after squirrels and bunnies.

    Since the 'big one' his shudders/tremors have become more frequent and some times longer and often without being caused by a noise. Last night i tried to write down all occurances and to what degree (none even remotely close to the grand mal, but a few strong enough to making him loose his balance) but I couldn't document them all. That and I was wondering if I was just being paranoid. It does seem to happen more consistently when he's drinking water, don't know if it's the sound or the stimuli. He seems to not want to drink as much as he should because of it but will eagerly lick water off my fingers and hands.

    He's tolerated the first round of subQ, though really not happy with the initial sticks.

  • If you are like me you are not just being paranoid, but merely in tune with your dog. I can always tell when something is not quite right with my guys.

    The best you can do is observe carefully and share with your vet.

    Hopefully you and the vet will figure out what is ailing Cairo together and it will be something that you can manage with good care 🙂

    Please keep us updated and we will do our best to help when we can 🙂

  • You may be able to get a large (60 cc ) syringe and slowly squirt water, maybe with a bit of chicken broth, into his mouth several times a day. I have done this with older dogs who didn't drink as much as they should. No needle, but attach a bit of small rubber or plastic tubing to the syringe, slip that into the rear of the mouth and gently squeeze the plunger. (I'm a recovery nurse and we used to use these for babies with cleft palate surgery). Good luck, I hope it is just dehydration during this hot summer.

Suggested Topics